Young Lawyers Conference


Brian R. Charville, President

Number of Conference Members: approximately 10,500

Officers and new Board of Governors members for the 2012-2013 bar year:

President – Brian R. Charville
President-Elect – Kenneth L. Alger II
Secretary – Maureen Danker
Immediate Past President – Christy E. Kiely

New Board Members:

Monique A. Miles, 5th District Representative
J. Craig Kemper, 10th District Representative

Special activities of the conference during the 2012-2013 bar year:

  • Professional Development Series, a series of webcasts and podcasts of past VSB and other groups’ CLE content for use by attorneys as practice-development tools. Chris Fortier, the Professional Development Conference chair, had the vision to record the PDC and other events and make that content available throughout the year. Additional content came from the First Day in Practice Seminar.
  • Minority Pre-Law Conferences for college students considering law school and the legal profession. The first conference of the year took place at the Regent University School of Law in November 2012 and was led by Edwin Wu and Shukita Massey. The second conference of the year took place at the University of Richmond School of Law in March 2013 and was led by Brian Wesley and Sarah Bell.
  • Admission & Orientation Ceremonies for attorneys who passed the bar exam. The first ceremony occurred in October 2012, a supplemental ceremony occurred in early December 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy in October, and the final ceremony of the year took place in early June 2013. The ceremonies were planned and carried out by a committee led by Les Brock and Scott Fisher. Future years’ fall A & O Ceremonies are expected to occur in early December.
  • Oliver Hill / Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute for at-risk high school students. The 2012 Institute occurred in late June 2012 and had 17 attendees for the week-long program. Providence Okoye and Latoya Asia co-chaired the Institute.
  • Students Day at the Capital, March 28, 2013. The YLC partnered again with the Diversity Conference and the VBA’s Rule of Law program to enable 100s of secondary school students to see state government institutions in action. The YLC’s co-chairs for the program were Justin Sheldon and Elizabeth Beck Miller.
  • No Bills Nights. Seth Land, the program’s statewide chair, developed a handbook for use by No Bills Night planners at the local level across the commonwealth. A No Bills Night planned by Michael Nicholas occurred in Danville during Law Week – 15 attorney volunteers took 85 calls over the course of the evening.
  • Bench / Bar Dinner honoring newly elected and elevated women and minority judges. This year’s event was on November 1, 2012, in Richmond, and Chief Justice Cynthia Kinser was our keynote speaker. Twelve judges were honored.
  • The Wills for Heroes program that enables attorney volunteers to prepare estate-planning documents for first responders and their spouses was conducted in Alexandria.
  • The YLC planned and carried out the debate between the Democratic and Republican candidates for Virginia Attorney General at the VSB’s Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach in June. Andrea Davison led the planning committee.
  • The YLC organized several athletic events at the Annual Meeting, including a 5K fun run and exciting volleyball tournament. Laura O’Brien planned those events.
  • Law Day / Law Week programs, led by statewide chair Jean Humbrecht, were carried out in several Virginia localities. They included a No Bills Night in Danville (see above), a pro bono event and a Law Day presentation in the 16th Circuit that were organized by Jason Seiden, and a seminar in the 1st Circuit that focused on criminal procedure law and was organized by Drew Page.
  • The Children & the Law Commission, chaired by Helen Chong, presented a program about cyberbullying to high school students on May 1 in Charlottesville.
  • The Women & Minorities in the Profession Commission conducted lunchtime teleconferences, most notably on March 28 featuring Ana Reyes, of Williams & Connolly, who spoke on issues facing women and minorities in the profession.
  • The Board Match program wrapped up work with VSB staff on a web-based interface that will enable attorney volunteers to connect with non-profits’ boards of directors that seek attorneys as board members. Chris Johnson and Melissa Hamann co-chair the Board Match program.
  • Docket Call, the YLC’s award-winning member newsletter, had four informative issues this year, which were complemented by “e-blasts” with news and events.
  • The YLC’s Fellows Program completed its first full year of existence and made progress in engaging Fellows in activities of the YLC. Fellow Christy Kiely, the YLC’s Immediate Past President, led an effort to create a directory of Fellows, and Fellows were invited to meetings of the YLC Board throughout the year.
  • The Young Lawyers Conference is also proud that it received recognition in all five categories for its division (1A) from the ABA YLD’s Awards of Achievement program:
    • First place in the Service to the Bar category for the Professional Development Series.
    • Second place in the Comprehensive category, which addresses the overall breadth and quality of our programs.
    • Second place in the newsletter category for our Docket Call newsletter.
    • Second place in the Minority Project category for the Hill / Tucker Pre-Law Institute.
    • Special recognition in the Service to the Public category for Community Law Week programming.

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs sponsored by the conference:

  • Professional Development Conference, a one-day CLE program for lawyers of all practice areas and experience levels. Chris Fortier chaired the conference and had the vision to expand it from the long-standing Richmond location to a Washington, D.C., location as well, adding space for more than 40 attendees.
  • First Day in Practice and Beyond Seminar, March 1, 2013 (rescheduled after the event planned for Oct. 29 was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy). Rob Dean and Meredith Brebner co-chaired the Seminar, which we hosted with the GP Section.
  • The Immigrant Outreach Committee conducted a 4-credit CLE program at the George Mason University School of Law in December. There were more than 30 attendees. The committee also conducted a 4-credit CLE program in Norfolk in mid-March and there were approximately 30 attendees at it.
  • The Health & the Law Commission and the Mental Health Law Committee of the YLC held a one-day CLE program (Health Law Day) in early May in Richmond. The program provided 6 CLE credits and was at full capacity.
  • The YLC’s Domestic Violence Safety Project, chaired by Susheela Varkey and Elizabeth Cooper, carried out a CLE program about protective orders on May 8th.

Significant issues encountered by the conference during the 2012-2013 bar year:

The Young Lawyers Conference enjoyed an eventful and successful year. The YLC is fortunate to have a dedicated board of governors, an incredible roster of diligent and enthusiastic volunteers, and eminently capable liaisons and support staff at the Virginia State Bar. There were no significant issues to report.

For more information about YLC programs and events please visit or

Updated: Sep 19, 2013